Friday, October 11, 2013

Gerrard Inspired Luis Suarez To Stay

It was no secret this summer that Liverpool forward Luis Suarez wanted out of Liverpool - and Arsenal wanted him in.

However, Suarez has today revealed that loyal Merseysider Steven Gerrard inspired him to stay with the Reds this season - the captain was very vocal about keeping the striker on board.

The Uruguayan told his national media: "I do not know if he prayed but what he said is what he feels because he was talking to me all the time.

"Gerrard, for me, is a legend in Liverpool and a great team-mate that helped me a lot.

"His attitude was an extra boost for me to take the decision to stay in Liverpool - both he and the fans of Liverpool influenced much for that. I admire him for the great player he is worldwide.

"For me he will always be a benchmark and at club level he is the best player I have played with in my career, as a person and as a footballer."

Suarez recently faced a 10-match ban after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in April, but has since returned on top-form after a partnership with Daniel Sturridge saw him net three goals in two league games, moving the Anfield boys to the top of the Premier League table alongside Arsenal.

The 26-year-old also told the Uruguayan media that he believes he is calmer now on the pitch, and isn't looking to return to his controversial ways.

He said: "I am aware that in recent matches that I played I've been calmer. I am very self-critical and I realized that playing well, with more tranquility, is helping me a lot.

"I realize and I prefer to continue and not be the same as before."

So far the Red's have won six of their seven Premier League matches - a vast improvement on the start to their last season which saw them win only one match in seven.

Liverpool's next Premier League clash is away at St James' Park to Newcastle United this coming Saturday.

Liverpool Looking To Bring Back Alonso

Brendan Rodgers could be planning a shock move to bring Xabi Alonso back to Anfield – but may face competition from Chelsea.

Liverpool sold Alonso for £30million back in 2009 but the Spaniard is out of contract at Real Madrid at the end of this season.

According to the Daily Star, the Spanish giants could be willing to sell the midfielder in January to avoid losing him on a free transfer next summer.

The 31-year-old could break Liverpool’s policy of signing young talent as Rodgers prepares to battle Chelsea for his signature.

The midfielder would be a popular signing with supporters, as he became a fans’ favourite during his five year stint at Anfield, whilst skipper Steven Gerrard admitted to being ‘devastated’ when Alonso left the club.

However, Alonso played under Jose Mourinho for several years at Madrid and the Chelsea manager will also fancy his chances of convincing his former player to join him at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool Step Alongside Arsenal In Michu Battle

Reports suggest Liverpool will join the chase for Swansea City star Michu alongside Arsenal who have been linked with the Spaniard all year.

According to Italian publication Tuttomercato, Liverpool is to challenge Arsenal for the 27-year-old who was recently valued at £30million by Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins.

The Daily Star believes the introduction of Liverpool into a potential transfer battle could raise Michu’s value even further.

Jenkins admitted that the Gareth Bale move to Real Madrid earlier this summer was a prime example of every player having a price.

"We've seen with Tottenham and Gareth Bale that every player has a price. We are not in that bracket with Tottenham but they sold a top player. We are realistic about that side of things," said Jenkins.

Michu earned his first ever call-up to the Spanish national team this week as replacement for the injured David Villa.

The forward will be hoping to play some part in Spain’s World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Georgia but will be happy just to have his name in the squad having as recently as 2005 played in the fourth tier of Spanish football.

Liverpool Linked With Dortmund's Jakub Blaszczykowski

Liverpool has been linked with making a move for Borussia Dortmund winger Jakub Blaszczykowski, as manager Brendan Rodgers plans his January reinforcements.

According to Tutto Mercato, the Reds are keen on the 27-year-old and are pondering making a bid to acquire him from the Bundesliga giants at the start of 2014.

Liverpool is thought to have money to spend in January and is mindful of last term, when positive additions during the month boosted the club.

Last January Liverpool snapped up Philippe Coutinho from Inter and Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea, both of whom have been deemed successful purchases.

Now Rodgers could try to repeat the trick with further purchases to give his side a shot in the arm for the final push towards a Champions League place.

The Poland international joined Dortmund in 2007 from Wisla Krakow and has flourished at the Ruhr giants.

It remains to be seen whether Jurgen Klopp's side will consider parting company with the established winger, or whether Liverpool will have to switch their attention elsewhere.

Liverpool Prepare Move For Atletico Madrid Star

Liverpool are weighing up a £17million bid for Atletico Madrid star Koke in January, reports talkSPORT.

The 21-year-old midfielder has been in inspirational form for Los Rojiblancos in the early part of 2013/14, turning in a number of scintillating performances for Diego Simeone's side.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has been alerted to Koke's potential, after the Spain international scored twice and made six assists in eight La Liga appearances so far this term.

With Liverpool short on central midfield options, the Northern Irishman is keen to strengthen his squad with the addition of the Primera Division starlet.

However, a move to Anfield when the transfer window reopens in the New Year is by no means certain, with Atletico determined to keep the talented youngster at the Vicente Calderon beyond the current campaign.

Simeone's side have made a perfect start to the new season, and currently sit second in the table - behind Barcelona on goal difference - having won all eight of their league games this season.

Liverpool To Block Martin Skrtel Departure

Liverpool are prepared to block any move for Martin Skrtel from his former club Zenit, according to ESPN.

Speculation has grown recently over the future of Liverpool's Slovakian defender, who was linked with a move away in the summer.

The 28-year-old lost his place to Jamie Carragher last season and has only recently managed to nail down a starting place under manager Brendan Rodgers.

Reports suggest that Zenit are preparing a £16million bid in January for the defender, which is nearly £10million more than they sold him for back in 2008.

Skrtel hinted he was ready to reevaluate his future at Liverpool after his lack of first-team football back in May.

With Rodgers signing four defenders over the summer, including central defenders Kolo Toure, Mamadou Sakho and Tiago llori, Skrtel's chances at Anfield may be limited.

Rodgers, who has recently switched formation to a back three, does not want to lose another defending option as Sebastian Coates is out with a long-term knee injury.

Kelly Happy To Bide His Time

Liverpool's Martin Kelly admits he will have to be patient as he looks to find a way back into the first team after regaining full fitness.

The 23-year-old made a welcome return in last month's Capital One Cup defeat at Manchester United, almost exactly a year after being sidelined by a cruciate knee injury.

He suffered a minor setback after that game but insists he is now recovered and awaiting his opportunity.

"You have to have a lot of patience in football as well as knowing when you are given your chance you have to take it," he said.

"It has taken a long time to get back to full fitness. I feel really strong physically now and I am biding my time to get my chance and grab it with both hands.

"It has taught me to look after myself in terms of what my body needs to cope with demands of the Premier League and over the past 12 months (I've been) getting myself to a physical condition which will cater for that and I'm raring to go to get that chance."

Kelly has had a couple of outings for the Under-21s to help him get up to speed and that has been beneficial.

"From a development (point of view) and confidence in terms of my knee it has been fantastic," he added. "It is much more difficult playing in the Premier League and Capital One Cup than reserve team level.

"I've done those few games as a physical aspect and I'm glad they've had me. It has been vital for my rehab.

"It felt good to be back. It was long-awaited. I was not rushed into coming back by the manager.

"He was always saying I had to be confident and the injury I had does knock your confidence but I'm past that barrier now and ready to push on."

Liverpool Keeper Backed To Join Barca

Pepe Reina is good enough to fill Valdes' shoes claims international team-mate Fabregas.

Valdes is set to depart after 11 years at the Camp Nou, increasing speculation about a possible replacement for the Catalan.

Reina, who is currently on loan at Napoli from Liverpool, rose through the youth ranks at Barcelona's famed youth system.

The Napoli 'keeper, who has represented the national team 29 times, has long been tipped to replace Valdes.

Fabregas insists it will be weird to see someone else in goal for the Spanish Giants when the time comes.

"Victor has been here for 10 years and none of us can imagine another goalkeeper in his place when we turn and look at our goal," Fabregas told Radio Catalunya.

Fabregas, who joined Barcelona from Arsenal, believes his international teammate could be the one to replace their out-going 'keeper.

"But one of the things that Pepe can bring is that he knows all of us. He provides a very good atmosphere in the dressing room and is experienced."

Fabregas, who returned to Barcelona in a deal worth £35 million plus £5m in add ons, has become a regular under new boss Gerardo Martino, appearing in 13 games this season for the Catalans.

Reina left Barca's academy to join Vilarreal before joining Liverpool in 2005.

Yeovil Loanee Returns To Liverpool

Liverpool youngster Michael Ngoo has had his season-long loan spell with Championship outfit Yeovil Town terminated by mutual consent, reports the Daily Star.

The 20-year-old striker made two starts and five substitute appearances for Gary Johnson's side in 2013/14, prior to leaving Huish Park.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers will send Ngoo back to the Anfield club's development squad, as it's understood he is still some way off making a breakthrough in the first-team.

He'll join up with Alex Inglethorpe's U21s and continue his development with the Merseyside academy.

"Ngoo has returned to the Reds' Kirkby training complex after his loan spell with Championship side Yeovil Town was ended by mutual agreement," read a statement on Liverpool's official website.

"The England youth international has been with the Reds since joining from Southend United in September 2009."

Ngoo is yet to feature for the Liverpool senior side, but enjoyed his most prolific spell on loan in the Scottish Premier League with Hearts in 2012/13, where he scored five goals in 16 appearances.

That's not to say that there isn't an opportunity for emerging young talents to establish themselves in Rodgers's first-team, with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Andre Wisdom the most recent examples of Liverpool promoting from within.